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Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad (Soo Line)

The Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad, commonly known as the Soo Line from a phonetic spelling of Sault, helped Minnesota farmers and millers prosper by hauling grain directly from Minneapolis to eastern markets.

Minnesota and Northwestern Railroad Land Grant Scandal, 1854

In 1854 legislators in St. Paul requested a grant from the federal government to create a rail line across Minnesota Territory. Public outcry led to scandal and the repeal of the territory's first land grant bill.

Minnesota Building

Built in 1929 at Forty-Sixth East Fourth Street, the Minnesota Building represents a turning point in the economic history of downtown St. Paul and the architectural history of the entire Twin Cities area.

Minnesota Stage Company

When James C. Burbank began his transportation business in 1851, it was a one-man operation. By 1859, Burbank's Minnesota Stage Company controlled all the major stagecoach lines in the state. In the years before railroads linked Minnesota communities, the Minnesota Stage Company played a crucial role in shaping the commercial and social life of the young state.

Minnesota’s Margarine Battles, 1885–1975

During the late 1800s, dairy farmers in Minnesota and other states faced what they considered a serious and immediate threat to their livelihoods: the growing popularity of a butter substitute called oleomargarine. For nearly a century, the dairy industry and its legislative allies waged a series of campaigns to prohibit or limit the manufacture and sale of margarine. No state retained its anti-margarine laws longer than Minnesota.

Mississippi River Reservoir Dam System

The Headwaters Dams were built between 1881 and 1912 in the Mississippi headwaters. The dams served to regulate river flow and assist navigation until 1938, when they were relegated to a flood control role.

Munsingwear

When George D. Munsing came to Minnesota in 1886 to produce a new line of woolen union suits, he founded an underwear empire. While selling everything from long johns to girdles, the Minnesota company urged generations of consumers, "don't say Underwear, say Munsingwear."

Northrup, King and Company

With its lavishly illustrated seed catalogs and store displays, Northrup, King and Company became a household name at the turn of the twentieth century. The company sold hardy, Northern-grown garden seed before expanding into Northern field seed and plant hybrids.

Opening of the Mesabi Iron Range

In the 1880s, several members of the Lewis H. Merritt family discovered hematite on the Mesabi Range. This led to industrial development in northeastern Minnesota and the growth of the Lake Superior iron industry.

Paisley Park Studios

Home to many historically significant people and places, Carver County's possibly best-known are recording artist Prince and his Paisley Park Studios. Located in what were Chanhassen cornfields, the site was a key location in Minnesota's music industry. In its heyday, it drew artists and musicians from around the world. Though no longer in business, it still draws the eye of travelers along Highway 5 in Chanhassen.

Pan Motor Company

In 1918, the first Pan Automobile rolled off the assembly line in St. Cloud, Minnesota. It was the beginning of the short and controversial existence of the Pan Motor Company.

Pillsbury, Charles Alfred (1842–1899)

Charles Alfred Pillsbury was one of Minnesota's most prominent millers. His Minneapolis company, Charles A. Pillsbury and Co., was among the largest milling firms in the world during the last decades of the nineteenth century.

Pillsbury, John Sargent (1827–1901)

In forty-six years as a Minnesotan, John Sargent Pillsbury helped establish what eventually became one of the world's largest flour-milling businesses, served three terms as governor, and contributed—generously and often anonymously—to numerous causes he deemed worthy.

Red Wing’s “Stone Age”

Thanks to the limestone bluffs and hills that surrounded Red Wing, the town became a Minnesota lime-making and stone quarrying center from 1870 to 1910. Those forty years are sometimes known as the city’s “Stone Age.”

Rolette, Joseph (1820–1871)

Joseph Rolette was a fur trader and politician during Minnesota's territorial period. A colorful character in his time, Rolette is remembered for the drastic action he took to prevent removal of Minnesota's capital to St. Peter.

Ry-Krisp

In 1904, immigrant baker Arvid Peterson gave a Swedish-styled cracker a modern American name and introduced the country to Ry-Krisp. For decades, Minneapolis was the one and only location where the product was made.

Sawmills, Red Lake Indian Reservation

Since the first sawmill was built near Red Lake in 1856, the harvesting and processing of timber has been a significant part of the local economy. It has provided an enduring source of income for the Ojibwe living in the area that is now the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

Scotch Tape

When 3M began doing business in 1902, it made sandpaper. Soon the sandpaper company invented a line of products that changed household life around the world. 3M's Scotch brand masking tape and cellophane tape were small inventions that started a consumer revolution.

Sinking of the Hesper

Launched in 1890, Hesper was a bulk freighter with a forward pilot-house, designed to haul loads like grain and iron ore across the Great Lakes. With masts and a steam engine, Hesper was a hybrid that reflected the transition from wind-powered vessels to mechanically propelled ships.

Smith, Alice Gustava (Sister Maris Stella) (1899–1987)

Alice Gustava Smith, better known by her students and readers as Sister Maris Stella, taught English at the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University) in St. Paul for nearly fifty years. During that time she also published books of verse that built her reputation as a skilled and spiritual poet.

Soudan Mine, Tower

The Soudan Mine, which opened in 1884, is located at the western edge of the Vermilion range, about two miles northeast of Tower. It was the first iron mine in the state, and its first ore shipment in the summer of 1884 marked the beginning of the state's mining industry.

Southdale Center

Donald Dayton, head of Minneapolis-based Dayton's department stores, teamed up with designer Victor Gruen to create a comfortable, convenient setting for Minnesota shoppers. In 1952, Dayton and Gruen unveiled their plans for Southdale, the nation's first enclosed, weatherproofed mall.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse opened in the summer of 1910 to guide bulk ore ships sailing near Lake Superior's rocky coast. By 1940, its picturesque North Shore setting had made it one of the most visited lighthouses in the United States.

St. Anthony Falls Tunnel Collapse, October 5, 1869

On October 5, 1869, water seeped and then gushed into a tunnel underneath St. Anthony Falls creating an enormous whirlpool. The falls were nearly destroyed. It was years before the area was fully stabilized and the falls were again safe from collapse.

Swany White Flour Mill

Before burning to the ground in 2011, the Swany White Flour Mill was the last remaining 19th century mill in use in Minnesota. Located in Freeport, the mill produced white flour, mixes, and other grain products for more than a century. It was a local landmark and was a frequent stop for people interested in the history of milling and bread baking.

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